During your pregnancy, there may come a time when you notice vaginal bleeding. Most women automatically assume that vaginal bleeding means that they are having a miscarriage, but is this always the case? Can bleeding or spotting during pregnancy be a sign of something else? Here are some of the things that you should know about vaginal bleeding during pregnancy and miscarriage.
Vaginal Bleeding May be a Sign of Miscarriage
For many women, vaginal bleeding is the first sign of miscarriage. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is unlikely to be the only sign or symptom that you will experience if a miscarriage does occur. According to the American Pregnancy Association, other common signs of a miscarriage include stomach cramping that is generally more severe than menstrual cramps and tissue which is passed through the vagina. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit your health care provider or an emergency medical center immediately.
Other Causes of Vaginal Bleeding During Pregnancy
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is not always indicative of miscarriage. Half of the 20 to 30 percent of women who experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy do not miscarry, according to the American Pregnancy Association. It is common for women to experience implantation bleeding six to 12 days after conception, but many do not even know that they are pregnant at this time. Having sexual intercourse can cause some women to bleed. Pelvic or urinary tract infections can also cause vaginal bleeding or spotting.
While vaginal bleeding may not indicate anything serious, there is a chance that it could. Ectopic pregnancies, which can be fatal, can cause bleeding or spotting. Though rare, placental abruption, placenta abrevia and molar pregnancies may also be to blame. A more common cause of vaginal bleeding later on in pregnancy is preterm labor, which often causes a bloody or watery vaginal discharge. Other signs of preterm labor include contractions, stomach cramping which may be accompanied by diarrhea, lower backache and pressure in the pelvic or abdominal regions.
Any time you experience vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, it is important to take it seriously. Though it may not necessarily be caused by miscarriage, there is a chance that it could be. The best thing that you can do is visit your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding or spotting, with or without accompanying symptoms, to make sure that everything is okay.
American Pregnancy Association, “Bleeding During Pregnancy.”